Review: SOME VELVET MORNING (2013) | Casey's Movie Mania | Movie Reviews, Features & Others

Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Review: SOME VELVET MORNING (2013)

Review: SOME VELVET MORNING (2013)
Despite some tedious moments, Neil LaBute's battle-of-the-sexes chamber piece is blessed with two lively performances from Stanley Tucci and Alice Eve, as well as the brilliantly offbeat twist.


When writer-director Neil LaBute first emerged from the independent cinema with his highly-acclaimed debut in 1997's IN THE COMPANY OF MEN, he was quickly hailed by many critics as one of the brightest filmmakers to watch for. Unfortunately, throughout the decade, his directing efforts were mostly erratic especially when he ventured into studio-movie territory. Case in point: black comedy NURSE BETTY (2000), romance melodrama POSSESSION (2002) and worst of all, the laughably bad remake of 2006's THE WICKER MAN starring Nicolas Cage. Fortunately, he made quite a comeback in SOME VELVET MORNING -- a provocative talky drama which sees him finally returned to his indie roots.
  
WHAT IS IT ALL ABOUT?

The story centres on Fred (Stanley Tucci), who suddenly shows up on Velvet's (Alice Eve) doorstep one fine morning with luggage in hand. Apparently, Fred decides to leave his wife and determines to rekindle his relationship with Velvet all over again.
  
THE GOOD STUFF
 
While it's admittedly dialogue-heavy, Neil LaBute's confident direction and his mostly snappy David Mamet-like screenplay manages to make this movie curiously interesting enough to keep you guessing how the movie is going to end.

But of course, much of the movie's success owes to Stanley Tucci and Alice Eve, who both breathe life into their characters. Individually, Tucci is both showy and engaging as the short-tempered Fred. Alice Eve, who is best known for her infamous "underwear scene" in STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS, proves that she's a real acting talent if given the chance. 

MOST MEMORABLE MOMENT(S)
 
The shocking twist towards the end! I admit I didn't see it coming. It's a kind of twist that I bet many people who watch this will either praising it or hating it as a total WTF moment. But to me, this is the single most memorable moment that shaped the entire movie in SOME VELVET MORNING.

THE BAD STUFF
  
Despite clocking at a compact 84 minutes, Neil LaBute's screenplay tends to grow wearisome at some points. There are also several moments where Stanley Tucci overacts his role too much. Then there's the underwhelming start at the beginning of the movie when Fred first shows up at Velvet's doorstep. It somewhat takes a long while before LaBute manages to find a proper footing for the rest of the movie.

FINAL WORDS


Die-hard fans of Neil LaBute's works will definitely enjoy the unforgiving approach of his direction here in SOME VELVET MORNING. While it hardly qualifies as his best effort, it's certainly a mile better than many of his past misfires.

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